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March 27, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:17pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Motion capture systems developer MotionAnalysis Corp has landed itself a dream deal – its systems have been chosen by Stephen Spielberg and co’s DreamWorks SKG Inc for the making of DreamWorks’ forthcoming full-length animated film, Shrek. MotionAnalysis will supply its ExpertVision HiRES Falcon camera, and MotionAnalysis SmartTracker software, which enables human movements to be captured and applied to animated characters. DreamWorks said it was looking for a motion capture system that would enable it to stretch animation boundaries. Shrek’s producer Rob Letterman said he wouldn’t have been able to take the project on without the MotionAnalysis system, because it is the only system what will allow us to combine both live action and puppeteering motion capture. MotionAnalysis’ Falcon is a proprietary camera built expressly for motion capture. It uses optical techniques enabling three dimensional capture of human movements using actors wearing reflective markers. Moving three- dimensional coordinates of each marker are then exported to animation software such as SoftImage, Wavefront, Alias, Prism, Nichimen and 3-D Studio as proprietary plug-in modules. The company claims Falcon enables motion capture four times faster than with traditional cameras and with twice the resolution. The DreamWorks system will also include MotionAnalysis’ SmartTracker software which enables movements, once captured, to be mapped to a variety of figures. Different camera angles can also be synthesized by the system. DreamWorks is taking a 10-camera Falcon system to make Shrek, which is due for release in 1999. DreamWorks and MotionAnalysis are also working together on the Mocap-Solver software module, a software tool that the companies say will help animators seamlessly blend raw motion capture data with their virtual characters.

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